CAMP CAPINPIN, Tanay, Rizal — Three NPA terrorists surrendered to combined elements of soldiers and policemen on Wednesday after the localized peace engagement which was facilitated by the mayor of General Nakar, Quezon.
The former rebels were received by representatives from the LGU, AFP and PNP at Sitio Minanga of the town’s Brgy Lumutan at around 1 p.m.
Lt Col Jesus Diocton, Commanding Officer of the 1st Infantry Battalion, identified the surrenders as Joven Retena alias Hamin, Pascual Retena Jr alias Olik and Geralyn Gurango alias Bea.
He said that “they belong to the Southern Tagalog Regional Party Committee’s KLG Narciso which terrorizes our people who are living in the boundary of Laguna and Quezon provinces,” said Lt Col Diocton.
Brigadier General Alex Rillera, Commander of the 202nd Infantry Brigade, said that the identity of the surrenders and their membership to the NPA were validated and confirmed by their former comrades who have earlier decided to return to the fold of law.
“Per our records which were corroborated by testimonies from former rebels, all of them are listed as active members of the NPA, thus, we are expecting them to share valuable real-time intel which will help us in dealing the terrorist group the decisive blows that will lead to the underground movement’s irreversible demise in this part of the country,” said BGen Rillera.
He added that the military is “looking at the possibility that these FRs will lead our troops to their arms cache after they feel our sincerity in helping them live peaceful lives and commitment to help them reintegrate to mainstream society, similar to our previous surrenders.”
According to Major General Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr, Commander of the Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry Division which covers Southern Tagalog, among the main reasons for this surrender is the recent neutralization of top NPA leaders in Kalayaan, Laguna.
“The deaths of alias Termo, who was the Commander of STRPC’s Main Regional Guerilla Unit, and alias Jethro, the Secretary of STRPC’s SRMA 4C, have caused massive demoralization and have fanned the prevailing paranoia within the NPA terrorists’ ranks” which, he added, “can once again lead to internal purging similar to what they did in the 1980s to avert the erosion of their mass base support across the country”, said Maj Gen Burgos.
It can be recalled that these two notorious NPA leaders were killed in two separate encounters in three days last week.
He ended his statement by “assuring the safety of the few remaining NPA terrorists, as well as those of their families, who will decide to turn their backs from the armed struggle.”
Maj Gen Burgos said that as of the moment, 2ID has facilitated the surrender and subsequent enrolment to the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program of 604 former rebels from CALABARZON Region and MIMARO provinces.